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What the Energy Switch Guarantee means for you

Chris Roper, Energy explained

24th Mar 2017

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Octopus Energy has signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, making switching faster, easier, and safer for you. 

What is the Energy Switch Guarantee?

In its own words, "The Energy Switch Guarantee is a commitment that promises a speedy and safe switch from one energy provider to another. So you won’t need to worry about a thing."

As one of the first six signatories to the Guarantee, we recognise there's a lot of confusion around switching and we don't want our customers left in the dark. 

Like the Current Account Switch Guarantee that's made moving bank accounts easier for customers, the charter sets out what customers can expect when they switch energy suppliers, and beholds suppliers to a minimum level of service they must deliver as part of the scheme.

How will the Energy Switch Guarantee help you?

You can read exactly what the Energy Switch Guarantee does on their website, but the key benefits are:

  • Switching suppliers will take no longer than 21 days (after you submit your completed application)
  • The new supplier will handle the switch, and keep you informed of progress
  • You have a 14 day cooling off period during which you can cancel and go back to your original supplier
  • You'll never pay for the same energy twice
  • You won't have any break in your supply
  • Any overdue credits will be returned within 14 days of your final bill

We're already doing what the Guarantee has set out to accomplish, but sometimes we're inhibited by the inefficiencies of other suppliers. We hope every supplier – large and small – signs up to the Guarantee as soon as possible so it delivers on these promises for every customer.

Why is it so important?

A customer begins judging their energy experience from the moment they click on a website or lift up the phone. From web design to after-sales care, how customers interact with their energy supplier will determine their happiness, and the likelihood of them staying.

Get it right and customers feel empowered. Get it wrong, and you’ll probably never see them again. Anticipating what customers want and giving it to them the way they want it is crucial for any business to succeed in the 21st century.

More importantly, this elevation of customer wants, needs, and behaviour is bringing joy to millions of us. From doing your weekly shopping on the tube, to ordering a last minute birthday gift delivered same day, or tapping your smartphone for a taxi, getting things done has never been easier.

Things do go wrong from time to time, but having the right mechanisms in place reduces the number of problems, lessens their impact, and makes them easier to fix. The Energy Switch Guarantee gives you the reassurance to move suppliers without fear; knowing what to expect, and knowing you'll be informed along the way, makes finding the supplier that's right for you so much simpler.

How will it affect the energy market?

Since the energy market's domination by the Big Six, many customers have suffered a miserable, thankless relationship with their energy suppliers. For such an essential service, it’s shocking how long people have had to put up with being undervalued. 

Beleaguered by exit fees, switching sagas, sluggish customer service, and a dual pricing model that overcharged existing customers to pay for new ones, it looked like energy customers were being left behind while customers in other sectors thrived.

But thankfully, times are changing in energy, too.

“Tease and squeeze” pricing is now getting the government’s attention with recent proposals for a relative price cap. Ofgem is consulting with suppliers like ourselves to shorten switching timescales

And now, the Energy Switch Guarantee is bringing suppliers together in a pledge for better switching.

Let's keep the momentum up.

Octopus Energy Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 09263424. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Trading office: 20-24 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 8HT

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